Saturday, August 28, 2010

Role of homoeopathy in ophthalmological conditions

by Chand DH.

That fine part of our constitution, the eye, seems as much the receptacle and seat of our passions, appetites, and inclinations as the mind itself; at least it is the outward portal to introduce them to the house within, or rather the common thoroughfare to let our affections pass in and out. Love, anger, pride and avarice, all visibly move in those little orbs. Joseph Addison

The eye has been called "the mirror of the mind". This expression has more meaning to it than what the poet or the romantics may have meant. This is particularly so for the Homoeopath who by his philosophy takes an overall view of all diseases. As such, the condition or ailment of some part of the body that is nearer the surface and visibly and palpably deranged, is not taken as a local disease but as a general disease expressing itself at that place at a particular period of time. Therefore, to the Homoeopath "The eye is not an organ requiring "Local" therapeutics. It pertains to one whole: the organism, being irrigated by the same blood, bathed by the same lymph and innervated by the same nervous current.

Local diseases do not exist, but solely localised morbid, affections are to be found." Dr. Pierre Schmidt. This kind of approach was naturally not as much appreciated 200 years ago, when Homoeopathy started, as it is to day. Even so, with the increase in sophisticated technology in medicine and an increasing degree of specialisation, often times such an approach is still not sufficiently emphasized. To take some simple examples, the changes that occur in the eye leading to Ophthalmic complaints can have in the background general diseases such as Diabetes mellitus, Hypertension, Haematological Disorders, Tubercular manifestations, Syphilis and various others. Even the refractive errors can have in their background hereditary tendencies, general ill health and other factors. I begin with these ideas to make a base for the peculiar approach that homoeopathy adopts in therapeutics of Ophthalmic diseases, in fact, of diseases of any particular organ of the body.

To put across the subject more clearly, it is also necessary to very briefly enunciate and explain the cardinal features of homoeopathy.

(1) Similia principle : This finds its crude analogy in the desensitisation procedures used for allergies.

(2) Single remedy : The prescription of several medicines together or complex mixtures is not followed.

(3) Small dose 'sub-physiological dose' Medication is with minute quantities of the drug substance, prepared by a "dynamisation" or "potentisation".

(4) Individualisation : selection of the remedy is based not on the disease diagnosis alone, but on the total symptom picture of the patient elicited on a psychosomatic approach.

The range of eye conditions that are treated by Homoeopathy is so wide that I would be impossible to condense it in one paper and in the time available. Bearing it mind the practice of individualisation, i would also not be possible to pinpoint specific, single remedies for different pathological conditions I will try to highlight those conditions where either a specific remedy has been repeatedly found useful, or those when allopathic therapeutics does not have much to offer and you may profitably try these medicines in your work. Even though the scope offered by Homoeopathy is wide, being a drug based therapeutic system it excludes the very large number of surgical conditions. I may add here, that some of the so called surgical conditions are amendable to medical treatment by the Homoeopaths, and they may add some pre-operative and post operative medication from their field to augment the success of the operation when this is necessary.

Some of the conditions treated successfully by Homoeopathy are

Blocked Lacrymal Duct & Dacrocystitis The remedy most used for this is Silica. Obviously, success is possible only if it is either inflammation or a partial stricture. A congenital absence or an absolute organic closure would of course, need surgery.

Styes : Treating an odd stye is not noteworthy; it can even heal naturally. However, the tendency to recurrent styes is treated with much benefit. The most important remedies are Sulphur and Silica.

Meibomian cyst

This has again responded remarkably to Homoepathic treatment. I could cite innumerable cases from my practice, and some of these cures have been witnessed by Eye Specialists who were being consulted at the same time. The most popular remedies are Staphsagria (Dephinium Staphisagria) and Thuja occidentalis

Thuja is particularly chosen where the patient has been 'over-vaccinated', which is or at least has been, quite common in our country.

Staphisagria is mostly for persons with a wild temper or a condition of suppressed anger. An example of suppressed anger is where a junior cannot answer back to his boss or a conventional daughter-in-law is in a similar predicament in her relationship with her parents-in-law. This also highlights the importance of a total individual approach (psychosomatic) as mentioned earlier.

For haemorrhages of varied aetiology, whether traumatic or pathological, the general remedy to help absorption of the extravasated blood is Arnica montana. This is almost specific, and especially when haemorrhage is the result of injury, it could certainly be the first choice. This would cover paraorbital bleeding (black eye) after trauma; sub conjunctival haemorrhages and also haemorrhages inside the eye. It is also one of the remedies for ecchymosis from coughing.

For retinal haemorrhage, after such first aid with Arnica there is likely to be a need for one of the other remedies’ to control further bleeding and prevent recurrences. Choice of this follow-up remedy would vary with the general constitution of the patient. Haemorrhage may of course be a sign of leukamia and other haematologlcal diseases in which case they have to be treated according to the cause. The most popular medicines, and with which I have had very definite success, are either snake venoms-specially of Lachesis a huge and extremely poisonous snake from the Amazon region in Brazil) and of the Rattle Snake Crotalus horridus and Phosphorus. 1 may mention here in passing that Homoeopaths have used snake venoms for more than 150 years. In fact the first experiment with a snake venom; was made by a Homoeopath with Lachesis as long ago as 1828. Subsequent work on snake venoms, with which we are familiar, brings out their haemorrhagic tendencies. Therefore even simply applying the Similia principle to these substances should bring out their utility.

Traumatic conditions of the Eye Homoeo¬pathy has a lot to offer here. The usefulness of Arnica in traumatic conditions has already been emphasized. Following are the other remedies particularly useful in this field.

Symphytum Officinale : This is most useful for pain in the eye after a blow from an obtuse body e.g. shuttle cock, tennis Ball, the elbow or hand of a baby that is being carried etc. Please try it and I am sure you will be surprised at its efficacy and the rapidity of results.

Staphisagria : This is for lacerated or incised, wounds of cornea.

Ledum Palustre : This is used for contused wounds and extravasation of blood in lids, conjunctiva, acueous or vitreous.


The utility of Cineraria Maritima Eye Drops is well known to many Ophthalmologists. I personally feel that it should be used only in the initial stages with a view to prevent or slow down the process, I am not very sure if it can actually clear the lens. When the Cataract is far advanced,I think it is pointless to treat it with drugs. In addition to these drops the Homoeopaths also use remedies internally. This needs selection from a fairly large list and depends on the rest of the history of the patient. The most popular remedies are from Calcium Group-Calcarea carbonica and Calceria fluorata. A case is reported in the British Homoeopathic Journal of a person 82 years of age having had bilateral cataract cleared by Silica. The Cataracts resulting from injuries the remedies are Conium maculatum or Arnica montana.


Some cases of Glaucoma respond well to Homoeopathic treatment. The remedies particularly useful are Spigelia anthelmia (specially if the trouble is in the left eye) and Phosphorus. Such cases have, of course, to be kept under close observation and those that do not respond quickly have to be handed over the surgeon.

Paralysis of muscles of the Eye Ball
The patient usually reports with diplopia when looking in a particular direction. The remedies most popular are Causticum and Gelsemium sempervivens. I have successfully treated a large number of cases of this condition.

The condition can again be met by the remedies mentioned above and in some patients by Curare. This as you know is the arrow poison used by South Americans in ancient times and has a paralysing affect.

Pterygium : This has disappeared time and again by the use of Calcarea picrata.

Effects of Watching Solar Eclipse This was very much in the news recently, and because of sustained publicity and advance information, most people remained indoors during the total solar eclipse, however, the Homoeopaths have a special remedy for this condition which is Hepar Sulph.

For conditions resulting from eye strain

(Pain and tiredness of the eye and headache)

The two most popular remedies are Ruta graveollns and Natrum mur. The latter, incidently is the common salt of daily use which has been converted into a powerful remedy by the genius of Hahnemann and his special pharmaceutical techniques of preparing infinitesimal doses.

Optic Atrophy

From the usual stand point, this should be an irreversible change. Please do not ask what is the mechanism of the reversal, but I have seen considerable clinical improvement in a number of such patients. The remedies most used are Phosphorus and Tabacum. However, where the atrophy has occurred as a use of tobacco it is remedied by giving Arsenicum album :

One fairly large field of utility of homoeopathy is the management of Viral conditions, refer to conditions like viral conjunctivitis, of which we have had epidemics in the recent past, as also Herpes. I have treated success fully not only herpes on the eye lid but also herpes of the cornea.

An advantage of Homoeopathy will be a singular absence of side effects (Iatrogenesis). I remember the warning of an eye specialist of not very freely using Penicillin eye ointment because of the danger of allergy.

I have all along refrained from giving you more precise idea about the doses and repetition of these remedies. To use them judiciously some elementary knowledge of Homoeopathy is necessary.

It was Charles Caleb Cotton who said that:
"Men are born with two eyes, but only one tongue, in order that they should see twice as much as they say."

I will therefore conclude here with an appeal to this galaxy of Ophthalmologists to utilise the services of qualified Homoeopaths for cases of these and other types,especially when not within their therapeutic orbit.

Chand DH. Role of homoeopathy in ophthalmological conditions. Indian J Ophthalmol [serial online] 1982 [cited 2010 Aug 28];30:245-8. Available from:

Friday, August 27, 2010

Memory of Water

"Maybe I should have thrown the data away"
but being a scientist and believing in his data he could not Jacques Benveniste, 1935-2004

The ‘memory of water’ is a popular phrase that is mostly associated with homeopathy and Jacques Benveniste [1212] following his and others’ allergy research work [132]. These research teams showed that solutes subjected to sequential physical processing and dilution show biological effects different from those apparent using just the water employed for the dilutions. The subject has drawn a lot of controversy with many scientists simply rejecting it outright without studying the evidence. The subject area has recently been the subject of a number of papers in the journal Homeopathy (July, 2007)c and has been reviewed [1206]. Although there is much support for water showing properties that depend on its prior processing (that is, water having a memory effect), the experimental evidence indicates that such changes are due primarily to solute and surface changes occurring during this processing. The experimentally corroborated memory phenomena cannot be taken as supporting the basic tenets of homeopathy although they can explain some effects [1206].
The main evidence against water having a memory is that of the very short (~ps) lifetime of hydrogen bonds between the water molecules [1209]. Clearly in the absence of other materials or surfaces (see later), the specific hydrogen bonding pattern surrounding a solute does not persist when the solute is removed any more than would a cluster around any specified water molecule, or else water would not know which of its myriad past solutes took preference. A recent NMR study shows no stable (>1 ms, >5 μM) water clusters are found in homeopathic preparations [712]. It should, however, be noted that the lifetime of hydrogen bonds does not control the lifetime of clusters in the same way that a sea wave may cross an ocean, remaining as a wave and with dependence on its history, but with its molecular content continuously changing. Also, the equilibrium concentration of any clusters are governed by thermodynamics not kinetics.
As applied to homeopathy, the 'memory of water' concept should also be extended to the memory of aqueous ethanol preparations. Addition of ethanol to water adds an important further area of complexity. Ethanol forms solutions in water that are far from ideal and very slow to equilibrate [1212]. Although usually considered a single phase, such solutions may contain several distinct phases [1297] and more generally consist of a complex mixture dominated by water-water and ethanol-ethanol clusters, where hydrogen bonding is longer-lived than in water alone [1213]. They also favor nanobubble (that is, nanocavity) formation [1172]. Thus, the peculiar behavior of aqueous solutions (as mostly discussed on this page) is accentuated by the presence of ethanol.
The process of silica dissolution has been much studied [1109, 1207] ever since it was proven by Lavoisier over 200 years ago and fits with this argument. This may explain why glass is preferred over polypropylene tubes. It should be noted that dissolved silica is capable of forming solid particles with complementary structures (that is, imprints) to dissolved solutes and macromolecules and such particles will 'remember' these complementary structures essentially forever.
Water does store and transmit information, concerning solutes, by means of its hydrogen-bonded network. Changes to this clustering network brought about by solutes may take some time to re-equilibrate. Agitation (succussion) may also have an effect on the hydrogen bonded network (shear encouraging destructuring) and the gaseous solutes (with critical effect on structuring [294] and possible important production of structuring nanobubbles (nanocavities) [993]), and such effects may well contribute to the altered heats of dilution with such materials [1143]. Such mechanically induced hydrogen bond breakage may also give rise to increased (but low) hydrogen peroxide formation [1066 see equations] and such effects have been reported to last for weeks [336]. It may be relevant to note that the presence of hydrogen peroxide can take part in and catalyze further reactions with other reactive species such as molecular oxygen and dissolved ozone [1066, 1069] (not often recognized but present in nanomolar amounts) which may well vary with the number of succussion steps and their sequence, which may offer an explanation for the changes in efficacy of homeopathic preparations with the number of dilutions [1210]. Also of note are the known effects of low concentrations of reactive oxygen species on physiological processes such as the immune response; with the recent discovery of the importance of low levels of hydrogen peroxide being particularly relevant [1256].
Dilution is never perfect, particularly at low concentrations where surface absorption may well be a major factor, so that dilution beyond the levels that can be analytically determined remains unproven. Remaining material may be responsible for perceived differences between preparations and activity. Of course the water used for dilution is not pure relative to the putative concentration of the 'active' ingredient; even the purest water should be considered grossly contaminated compared with the theoretical homeopathic dilution levels. This contamination may well have a major influence, and itself be influenced by the structuring in the water it encounters. Although it does, at first sight, seem unlikely that solutes in diluted 'homeopathic' water should be significantly different from a proper aqueous control, it has recently been cogently argued that the concentrations of impurities can change during the dilution process by reactions initiated by the original 'active' material [531], and this process has been mathematically modeled [1210].
A further consideration about 'the memory of water' is that the popular understanding concerning how homeopathic preparations may work not only requires this memory but also requires that this memory be amplified during the dilution; this amplification, necessitated by the increase in efficacy with extensive dilution, being even harder to explain. Samal and Geckeler have published an interesting, if controversial, paper [272] concerning the effect of dilution on some molecules. They found that some molecules form larger clusters on dilution rather than the smaller clusters thermodynamically expected. Just the presence of one such large μm-sized particle in the 'diluted' solution could give rise to the noticed biological action (of course, some such preparations may be totally without action, being without such clustered particles).a However, it remains to explain this particular phenomenon, which appears to disobey the second law of thermodynamics. A possible explanation is that such biologically-active molecules can cooperatively form icosahedral expanded water networks (ES) to surround and screen them by the formation of face-linked icosahedra, similar to as expected in the minimal energy related poly-tetrahedral Dzugutov clusters [295]. So long as such an icosahedral network structure requires the help of more than one neighboring such cluster to stabilize its formation then, in more concentrated solution, the molecules dissolve normally. However, as they are diluted (typically beyond about one clathrate-forming group per twelve icosahedral water clusters; 3,360 water molecules) no neighboring such clusters are available and the clusters coalesce to form larger clusters of biologically-active molecules within their own ES-related water network (so releasing some of the water). This tendency for particle formation is ultimately due to the hydrophobic effect and the tendency to form a small surface with the water. Overall the balance is expected to be rather fine between water cluster stabilization and particle cluster stabilization.
Water is not just H2O molecules. It contains a number of molecular species including ortho and para water molecules, water molecules with different isotopic compositions such as HDO and H218O, such water molecules as part of weakly-bound but partially-covalently linked molecular clusters containing one, two, three or four hydrogen bonds, and hydrogen ion and hydroxide ion species. Apart from such molecules there are always adventitious and self-created solutes in liquid water. Distilled and deionized water contain significant and varying quantities of contaminating ions. Often the criteria for ‘purity’ is the conductivity, but this will not show ionic contaminants at nanomolar, or even somewhat higher, concentrations due to the relatively high conductivity of the H+ and OH- ions naturally present. Other materials present will include previously dissolved solutes, dissolved gasses dependent on the laboratory atmosphere, gaseous nanobubbles [500d], material dissolved or detached from the containing vessels [1207], solid particles and aerosols (also dependent on the laboratory history) entering from the gas phase, and redox materials produced from water molecules [1066] and other solutes produced on standing [509c] and homeopathic processing [1210]. Liquid water is clearly a very complex system even before the further complexity of molecular clusters, gas-liquid and solid-liquid surfaces, reactions between these materials, the consequences of physical and electromagnetic processing and the addition of ethanol are considered. Any or a combination of these factors may cause 'memory' of past solutes and processing in water. Some of these solutions are capable of causing non-specific clinical effects whereas others may cause effects specifically linked to the solution's (and laboratory) history, as outlined below [1206].
Mechanisms for 'the memory of water' as aplied to homeopathy
Specific clinical effects Non-specific clinical effects
Remaining material on surfaces
Aerosol material reintroduced
Bacterial material introduced
Imprinted silicates
Remaining particle clusters Silicates, dissolved and particular
nanobubbles and their material surfaces
Redox molecules produced from water
Natural water clustering
Stabilized water clustering
Ions, including from glassware
Ethanol solution complexity
There are numerous examples of the slow equilibration in aqueous solution. Thus, it can take several days for the effects of the addition of salts to water to finally stop oscillating [4] and such solutions are still changing after several months showing a large-scale (~100 nm) domain structure [1148]. Also, water restructuring after infrared radiation persists for more than a day [730], and water photoluminescence changes over a period of days [801]. Changes to the structure of water are reported to last for weeks following exposure to resonant RLC (resistance inductance capacitance) circuits [927]. Conductivity oscillations (~ 0.5 Hz) at low concentrations of salts also show the poor tendency to equilibrium in such solutions [661]. Succussion, by itself, has been shown to be 'remembered' for at least 10 minutes as solitons (that is, standing waves) [893].
Explanation of homeopathy on the basis of water crystals (IE, [124, 125]) is unconvincing as such crystals appear to be artifacts and, even as proposed, the effect of body fluid ions would be to immediately 'dissolve' them.
There is a strange occurrence, similar to the ‘memory of water’ but unconnected to it, in enzyme chemistry where an effectively non-existent material still has a major effect; enzymes prepared in buffers of known pH retain (remember) those specific pH-dependent kinetic properties even when the water is removed such that no hydrogen ions are present [1208]; these ions seemingly having an effect in their absence somewhat against common sense at the simplistic level.b
a A related phenomenon may be the occurrence of conductivity oscillations (~ 0.5 Hz) at similar concentrations of salts at the low concentration limit of obedience to Kohlrauch's law (Onsager's formula) Λm = Λmo - αc½, where Λmo is the limiting molar conductivity, α is a constant and c is the molar concentration [661].
b This example of pH memory was later explained briefly as the enzymes' acidic and basic groups retaining their charge when in an anhydrous environment [1208]. This explanation is accepted but remains unproven independently, is derived from a circular argument and does not inform on how the charge is retained. There remains some puzzle to the extent that a single group in a molecule can either be charged or not charged; it cannot be fractionally charged. Thus the enzyme might be expected to behave as containing a mixture of charged and uncharged groups rather than, as found, fractionally charged groups as in the hydrated enzyme. Perhaps there is sufficient hydration water retained to ensure this, but I do not believe that this has been shown. Whatever, the ‘puzzle’ of the enzyme’s memory disappears with the appearance of an acceptable explanation.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Why Surgeons Should Be Compelled To Study Homœopathy

Just why should all surgeons be compelled to study and practice homœopathy? Study the following exhibits and answer the question yourselves! Do not get me wrongly, I am not unalterable opposed to surgery. I am only opposed to unnecessary surgery! Surgery should only come into play as a dernier resort; a resort to be avoided whenever and wherever possible. The human body, more intricate and more delicate than the most delicately constructed watch, once any of its parts are either removed or changed, can never again operate with the accurate precision it did before that removal. To remove parts without the most just cause to supposedly prevent causes already existent spreading, or to prevent their supposed occurrence, is a method born of crass ignorance, and does not speak well for the intelligence of the operator. No sane man would think of snipping a cog from the wheel of his watch because it did not keep proper time, but the surgeon entertains no compunction in cutting out section or parts of the body simply because they do not directly cripple that body, or would not be there to offend again. Why not cut out the brain to prevent headache? Few of us have any great need of a brain, apparently.

Here let me give you a few examples of my reason for all surgeons studying and practicing homœopathy in their work.

Exhibit I: A government meat inspector caught his finger on a meat hook. Infection set in at once. A surgeon was called. His ignorance of homœopathic therapeutic allowed the infection to spread. Three operations disposed of the finger. The infection spread to the hand. It looked has if the hand would have to be removed. The man was directed to our office. Silica was indicated and the hand was saved. Through the surgeon’s ignorance of homœopathic therapeutics the man was crippled for life. All of which could have been avoided.

Exhibit II: A glass worker developed an abscess in the palm of his hand. He was sent to the company’s surgeon who was a firm believer in free incisions. He cut clear across the palm of the hand, severing all the ligaments. Infection set in and some of the ligaments sloughed out. The man was on the way to lose his hand entirely through the ignorance of the surgeon’s therapeutics. He was turned over to us. Here again Silica was indicated. It healed the wound, but of course could not restore the missing ligaments. So through the surgeon’s ignorance of proper therapeutics the man was crippled for life.

Exhibit III: A structural iron worker was struck in the eye with a splinter from a red hot rivet, the splinter striking right in the center of the cornea. A phagedenic ulcer immediately set in and spread rapidly toward the outer rim, and was within an eight of an inch from the outer rim when he was referred to us. The company employed the very best of “old school” eye specialists, who completely failed on the job and finally decided the eye must come out to save the other one. The man’s wife refused to have an operation, but suggested he be turned over to us. It was a beautiful case of Mercurius corrosivus, and that remedy saved the eye.

Thus again I prove that every surgeon should be compelled to study and practice homœopathy.

Exhibit IV: An executive of a large department store ruptured himself. He was operated on, but the operation was unsuccessful and he was compelled to wear a truss. Later he developed a beautiful case of Rhus tox rheumatism for which he was recommended to our office for treatment. Being very busy when he came to the office, and Rhus tox being so plainly indicated, I did not take time to make a physical examination, therefore did not know he had a hernia. After he finished his treatment for the rheumatism it was some time before he needed attention again. It was right after Dr. D. T. graduated from Ann Arbor that he called for me to either come ort send Dayton as he was not feeling well. Dr. D. T. went out to see him. Just as Dr. D. T. was about to leave the man called Dr D. T. aside and said, “I want to tell you something your father does not know. Some time ago he treated me very successfully for rheumatism, but was not aware at the time that I was suffering from a very bad rupture which an operation failed to correct and for which I was compelled to wear a truss. After your father got through with me I was able to throw my truss away and have not worn it since.”

Had the surgeon been acquainted with homœopathy he could have saved that man both suffering and considerable expense.

Exhibit V: A young man developed an osteosarcoma of the right upper jaw. To arrest the progress of the disease surgery, x-ray and radium were in turn employed, but were unable to stem the progress of the disease. As a last resort the parents were induced to try homœopathy. The case presented a beautiful picture of Phosphorus. From a puny youth he has grown up to be a sturdy man. The dentist came to his rescue and made him an upper plate to filling the gap made by the operation and restore the contour of his face.

To me, at least, the above exhibits present pretty strong evidence why every surgeon should be compelled to study and apply homœopathic therapeutics. What do you think?

Dare To Know